28 November 2012

MAKE IT SNOW IN PEEKSKILL! Saturday 22nd December 2012, Embark at EMC.

Save the date!!!! 

Saturday, 22nd December 2012
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Embark at Energy Movement Center, 925 South Street, Peekskill, NY  10566

26 November 2012

Grasping the Cliff

November PAD Challenge, Day 20.  Prompt:  Write a "letting go" poem.

you grasp the cliff with grace....
but will let go, in the end.
we all do....so
no shame in that

falling, perhaps, to a 
more comfortable place (you 
never know, really)

lodged in some crevasse
containing all those earlier losses--
the slow unfolding of a first love,
the origami squares smoothed out,
blank, waiting for your writing, better, truer, now.

the old hunger, too, to throw
coals upon the fire, to hammer
out steel for a new pen,
thick ink lines plowing through white

Gathering Leaves

November PAD challenge, day 20.  Write a "gathering" poem.

in brittle circles they dance, their
green gowns changed for brown, wrinkled
past redemption, their dry chattering

echoes, then fades.  they have escaped
the rake, the staid brown bags
marked over with text, fat barrels

of summer-canopy crumpled, crammed,
one atop another, so different from
their leafy springing, clear green, graceful

in the air, smooth to the touch,
without blemish, before the assaults
of insects, the buffeting of wind

and rain; they whispered, always,
amongst themselves, the taffeta-rustle
from the wind a great rushing, peppered

with birdsong, less lucky, the others, compressed now, in
stolid brown bags, an army of them
silent, curbside

Fortune, Circular

November PAD challenge, day 19.  Prompt:  Write a "wheel" poem.

so fortune spins and we with
her, her gauzy scarves and
sequin-spangles fascinate as a circus
does a child, full of sound
and sparkle at the highest
point, contrasting with the
stalls yet to be mucked out

tied to the wheel, we
rise and fall, the rattle,
relentless, turning to the words
that echo back to us under that
tinted sky of painted stars

torn, sometimes, limb from limb,
the sinews split at her turning,
as if a spit well-greased
with thick malevolence, the
careless, random riving of soul
from body, dearest wishes catapulted,
pale and shriveled, upon the ash heap

How to Go On, Regardless

November PAD Challenge, Day 17.  Prompt:  "How to  _________"

easier said than done, that,
after the crepe has been
packed away, the papers in
thick beige and black notarized and
filed at the courthouse

the sun still rises and sets,
ticking away hours, memory-thick,
a stew of all those long-ago
days, though unevenly seasoned
still, nourishing enough

to give you the strength to
slap your soles against the sidewalk,
walking, always, towards some uncertain end

EMBARK/PEEKSKILL Poetry Reading (Music, too!!!)

Really looking forward to this event.......

EMBARK/PEEKSKILL Poetry Reading (Music, too!!)

Saturday 15th December 2012

(Part of the Peekskill BID "Pub Crawl")

Poetry, music, holiday cheer!!!  ;- ) 

Join us!!!

8:00 p.m.

925 South Street
Peekskill, NY  10566

EMBARK Peekskill -- Performing and Literary Arts

16 November 2012

The Last, First....

November PAD Challenge, Day 16.  Prompt:  Write a "last line first" poem.

so that was the end of it, after
all the speeches were exhaled to
the air, candle-brightened, the
room was dark and silent, alone

with the spiders, the cracks in
the plaster hidden by curtains, the
rosy glow drained like the
blood from her cheeks that

August day, the last first, the
first last again, the words
careening, circular, through her brainpan

I'll Give You Mine For......

November PAD Challenge, Day 15.  Prompt:  Write a "tradeoff" poem.

here, I'll give you my tired eyes
in exchange for sleep--string them
on a golden chain and wear them
as you will

the soul-sigh too, escaping my lips--
take that in exchange for a
moment of peace, hold it with
parted fingers, a fleshy cage

for a fluttering, birdlike, that
once exhaled, is no more

Insect in Amber

November PAD Challenge, Day 14.  Prompt:  Write a "stuck" poem.

oh, yes, the fine cream colored
journal pages are blank, the covers
careful geometries of green, black,

reproach one, the

black pens, too, slim missiles, lie
by their side, yet to discharge their
thick shots peppering the sky

no inky bullet points, striving,
strident, on the page, no
curlicues of decorative braid,
no animal killed and caught,
framed on the page for
all to see

these squat pens going dry in the
drawer, beside powdery cubes
of lavender sachet,
stuck, as if an insect in a
jar of cold cream, as if
frozen in amber,
accidentally preserved for
your glancing eyes

Crowding the Mouth With Sweetness

November PAD Challenge, Day 13.   Prompt:  Write a "recipe" poem.

one part patience
two parts endurance
one part, again, of
mix them well and
leave them to warm
in the sun

see what will
sprout.   will these
vines bear fruit?  will
they embrace you in
midsummer, crowding
your mouth with

Grocery Lists

November PAD Challenge, Day 13.  Prompt:  Write a "letter" poem.

my dear, you did not
understand, my thin and
pleading words were
all for your good, the
sun rising and
setting a distraction

counting stars my new
occupation, collecting tears
in wide-mouthed jars,
writing out grocery lists,
the buy-one-get-one free
topping the list, storing up
for the future and

hoping these few lines
will find you

I am yours


November PAD Challenge, Day 12.  Prompt: Write about a piece of technology that does not exist but should.

to erase those hurtful words, yes,
this would cover with white noise

those exploding parts of speech
sailing across the room to pit

the walls, black, forbidding, a
soiling that cannot be whitewashed

or papered over, looked upon with
sinking shame in the days that

follow, chewing the tongue to shreds

Arms to Embrace You

November PAD Challenge, Day 11.  Prompt:  Write a poem from the perspective of a Veteran.

goodbye, my two fair
friends, the ends of
me that once I did
dance with

no more
there are still
my arms
to embrace you

Tintreach agus Tornach

November PAD Challenge, Day 10.  Prompt:  A "foreign word" poem.

tintreach agus tornach, the lightning
and thunder torn from your
fingertips sears the fields,
wreckage left in your wake,

heaped up piles of driftwood, the
morning after the storm, your
breath broke me into splinters, each
a needle I would use

to sew new garments, hand-dyed,
written over with prayers and

terrifying breaths, tintreach agus tornach,
shaking the ground, your bright
illuminations show the
shuddering scenes, the cowering creatures
clinging to their hallows

Night Watching

November PAD Challenge, Day 9.  Prompt:  Write a "when he's gone" poem.

when he's gone she clock-watches,
a sullen student of timetables,
every silver minute of each golden
hour, calculating the time away

from her side, the slow embrace
of dawn yet to come, the eggs slipped
into hissing fat crackling back, sliding
onto a plate, the atmosphere thick with
coffee and the music of teaspoons still
in the future

another quarter-hour past and
her face stares back from the
pane of inky black, searching for a single light,
quickly turning to straighten the shoeboxes,

the quilt too, the field of blue/white/blue/white/blue
white atop the bed, geometries of
angled folds, origami layers folding
and unfolding, turned down again

Paradise Untold

November PAD Challenge, Day 8.  Prompt: "Talk back to a dead poet."

what words of her own might
she have written
were she not your eyes?

face to the fire, writing down
your hellish visions, the
hounds at the door, the

light fallen to the depths--
what brimstone may have
singed her heart-desire?

in patient script she wrote
your words, dutiful daughter,

We Go In Circles

November PAD Challenge, Day 7 - Prompt: Write a "circular" poem.

we go in circles; the road curves
to the curve of your hand, the
lock of hair that curls against the
child's cheek, whorls of gold and
red intertwined as the thinspun
wires that make the twinned
rings we wear, the road
sloping back to where we were

the walk is tree-shaded, the
brittle leaves a-skitter in the
wind the only sound as we
walk our circular way, back
to the beginning, that rose
gold sun rising over our heads,
perfect, burning, circle

11 November 2012

Daily Bread

we have the windex for
that glass ceiling and
though we may not tread
a crystal stair
we see clearly.

from hob of hearth, to
microwave oven, we are the heat
at the center of the
kitchen, grinding grain into
flour, dreams into written-out

mixing, with the spoon of
self-assurance, the dough
that will rise, impervious to
death, disappointment, slighting-speech

rising, in the face of all
resistance, to their fullest
forms, sliced for sustenance,
this, her daily bread

After the Noise is Over: A War Poem

some days there was
cabbage soup or a
potato, other days,

we rose from the rubble,
from beneath basements,
(the big guns blackened, now, but cold,
after their red-hot efforts)
one wraith reaches for
another, stumbling

and where is my
husband, my brothers,
mother and father,
my baby of three weeks

the sky, stretching grey, above,
strangely quiet now,
holds no answers

landscape, man-made mountain of
broken stones, wind threading
through emptied building-shells,
winding through empty-paned spaces,
(no longer curtain-framed)
irregular forms casting their
shadows, the whine of
the wind says
they are
no more, no more, no more

08 November 2012

Making Her Hands Work

November PAD Challenge: Prompt Day 6: "Write a 'Left' poem and/or a 'Right' poem."

from left to right they fumble in
early dawn, first rubbing sleep
from her eyes, then turning the
bluegasflames high under the kettle,
these remembered movements
second nature now.

finest tools, fleshy tapers
varnish-tipped in crimson,
tapping, impatiently, on the table
when, when will it start,
the rise and swell of noise,
the tides washing through the
day, the electric hum interrupted
by buzzing, then

from left-to-right they execute
the daily tasks looming always
before her eyes, the threads woven, unwoven,
tied off, finally, in knots

Message Waiting

November PAD Challenge: Day 5 Prompt:  Write a "text message" poem.

too cold here and you?
can't complain, but we'll need milk.
love you, love you too

Just Beneath the Winter Woolens

November PAD Challenge: Day 4 Prompt:  Take the phrase "Just Beneath" add a word, and make that the title of your poem. 

just beneath the winter woolens, paired
gloves in brown and black, tight-knit
hats to ward off cold, fat wool worked
with needles, cabled, plain-knit too,
striped, eminently irreproachable in
their staid practicality

is a pink silk dress, gossamer-thin,
lighter than a nightgown, a whisper of fabric with
jewelled buttons, hem
heel-snagged, not yet repaired,
waiting, patiently, to be worn again
on the eve of a new year

Artful Architecture

November PAD Challenge: Day 3 Prompt: A "poem that scares you."

they are in groups, in serried
ranks, tough as any soldier,
impenetrable in their armor of
ten-dollar-words and random
obscurities thrown in for good measure

trailing across the page--so
artfully, the letters have
their own private architecture,
and I've not got the price
of admission, my fingers poking
through the holes in my trouser-pockets,
grasping for the sense of the thing
beyond leaded glass windows
and historical markers just-polished,

their vowels and consonants at
war, proudly unintelligible, reluctant
to open the door to such a


November PAD Challenge: Day 2 prompt: A "full moon" poem.

not a cookie-moon, but a
silver round, lacy white stone
glimpsed behind a lattice of
trees, irregular, veins against
the sky, wind-threaded,

pie-face, blank of features,
betraying nothing, no eyes to
blink, no mouth to smile
(or snarl), no cheeks to
flush red and fade, only
jagged white, the sterile
plain for the planting of flags

pulling and pushing the water,
roiling up around our ears,
drawing blood, tearing one from
another, hazy pearl, fat
with irrationality, loosed from
a setting of stars

Striking the Box

November PAD Challenge: Day one prompt:  A "matches" poem.

striking the box, the flame
leaps out to color the
darkness, blue, yellow, sulfur
sputtering to fire, sheltered
by one hand, coaxing the
kindling to spark into fire
that will warm us, warm
the animals off, cook
our food, this essential
element, flaring up, casting
shadows, the embers banked